Guest Author: Tina DeSalvo

Today’s guest author’s career in journalism spanned twenty-five years, and she had a huge variety of roles—covering floods and hurricanes with national broadcasts on major national broadcasters CNN, NBC and CBS, as well as being a play by play sports announcer for basketball and football!

I met Tina DeSalvo briefly at my first RT Convention in New Orleans back in 2014, but it was at a post-convention soiree in Las Vegas, hosted by Kathryn Falk, that we had a chance to chat and connect one-to-one. Tina is one of the warmest and most generous ladies you’ll ever meet. Along with Cherry Adair and Stella Barcelona, Tina set out to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer. All the profits of her first story, ‘Elli’ go to the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, and Tina even organised a breast screening bus at the RT Reno convention.

It’s lovely to have Tina as my guest on the blog today.

Welcome Tina!
First, would you tell us about your next release “The Fathers of Victoria Gallen” and whether it posed any particular challenges to write?

Yes. Yes. And, Yes. LOL. I moved from contemporary to historical to write The Fathers of Victoria Gallen. That alone was a big challenge - being that I didn’t live in 1870’s Nevada nor did I live in 1870’s Boston. There was nothing to recall from my personal experiences.

The good news is - I love investigating - doing the research. I have to admit, it did often take me into the cyber-hole we all fall into sometimes as we detour from one thing to another. You know, “oh…THAT has nothing to do with my story, but it looks REALLY interesting.” The determined (some call it stubborn) part of me, persevered and got the story written. It was a true labor (or as I think of it, passion) of love.

The Fathers of Victoria Gallen is inspired from a trip to Virginia City and Lake Tahoe, Nevada years ago. While visiting, I heard many stories of individuals who lived, survived, thrived and belly-crawled during the pre and post gold and silver boom. Since that time, I had the story of the daughter of the town’s long-time painted lady, who was sent away as an infant with a fake story of her parents, so she could be raised as a respectable women. This daughter, Victoria, arrives unexpectedly one day to Two Moon Junction where her “Fathers” do what they can to get her to leave - before it is too late. Besides the research, the other challenges of this story are creating an historical mystery in that historical setting - complete with twists and turns, laughter, love and danger. 



You’ve written two Christmas novels (“Hunt for Christmas” and “Christmas at the Inn on Cloud Hill”). With Christmas fast approaching, do you have any particular family Christmas traditions you’d like to share with us, or favourite Christmas movies?


I come from a loud, fun-loving Italian family and I married into a loud, fun-loving Cajun family. Both have incredible traditions. Mostly, involving food, of course. With my Italian family, we always enjoyed a big, hearty Lasagna on Christmas Day, along with an delicious assortment of homemade Italian cookies that we had gathered to bake at my Aunt Stella’s house. My husband’s Cajun family enjoys what we think of as more traditional Christmas food - Gumbo, Oyster Dressing, Turkey, Shrimp and Mirlton, and incredible deserts. I have some of the recipes for the Cajun dishes on my website if you’d like to give them a try. tinadesalvo.com

I was amazed to hear about one of your adventures while you were a journalist where you were ‘hoisted from a bobbing ship in the Gulf of Mexico onto an oil platform on a small round tire-like tube to get a perfect video of an oil platform emergency drill”. My gosh! My adrenalin is running just thinking about it! Do you think this experience, or any other from your journalism days will ever feature in one of your stories?


HaHa. I’m sure if I can figure out how to include an offshore scene of the heroine being lifted from a supply boat to an oil platform or landing by helicopter on a super-tanker, I will. And, of course, in one my books, the heroine would have to be completely out-of-her element…maybe because instead of getting into the scheduled sight-seeing helicopter, followed the wrong person and climbed aboard the oil company one. LOL.


Seriously, I’ve been fortunate to have had many exciting and, dare I say, stupid experiences. But, it’s the people I’ve met from my work and personal life that inspire me the most.  My books are strongly character driven. As a journalist, I have met many, many amazing people during their most challenging, triumphant and unusual times. There have been incredibly colorful people with complicated and simple lives. What and how they did things, inspired me and left lasting impressions. Most definitely, combinations of these people have made it into my books as well as many of their challenges. I also enjoy including what I think of as “news features” in my books. It’s that bit of information I get to weave into the story of the traditions, geography, history, and jobs that help make a story dimensional and, I hope, interesting. 

Elli, the second chance series, was a story which grew from your experience as being diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer back in 2008. What’s your main message to women who are fighting breast cancer?

Be Hopeful. You have every reason to believe you will survive - Fight the Fight. Have HOPE! Don’t let the fear rob you of it.  

Be an advocate for yourself and speak up to be an active member in your medical care. You have every reason to trust your instincts, that inner voice, that tells you when something isn’t right or more needs to be done. I have heard stories, many of them, where a person spoke up to get a test or treatment that wasn’t recommended, but they knew in their heart they needed it…and it saved their lives!

What’s next for you as an author?

To write!

Thank you for your time, Tina! I’ll look forward to seeing you at the Booklovers Con in NOLA in May!

Thank you Alyssa. I appreciate you inviting me to be a guest here. It’s been fun. I look forward to seeing you in my hometown at Booklovers Con in New Orleans! And, I hope you come Second-Lining with me on the opening night!



For more information about Tina and her books, visit tinadesalvo.com


                               COMPETITION!!

Tina has kindly offered to giveaway an Amazon Gift Voucher. To be in the running for the giveaway, just leave a comment below between now and December 1st. All comments will go in the draw and the winner will be drawn at random. Check back on December 1st for the announcement of the winner. The winner will need to then contact me with their details by December 5th or a re-draw will occur.

  
Thank you for visiting the blog today. I hope you'll join me next week my next guest author, Sonali Dev. Until then...Happy Reading!

Best wishes,

Alyssa J. Montgomery

www.alyssajmontgomery.com

Comments

  1. Hi Alyssa! Thanks for including me with your blog- It was so much fun chatting with you! I hope to get to your amazing country one day to tour around. When I do, I will definitely be relying on your expertise and the lovely readers there for advise. Hugs to all..td

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  2. Hey Tina, when you come to Australia, I’ll gladly give you some tips, and a place to stay if you’d like to visit my neck of the woods! x

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  3. I enjoyed reading your blog about Tina DeSalvo, especially since I am also from the New Orleans area. I too, hope to get to Australia one of these days!

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    1. Hi Madeline. Great to hear from a New Orleanian! Thanks for stopping by. I love Alyssa's blog too!

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    2. Hi Madeline, I hope you make it to Australia and have a fabulous time when you’re here. Hope to meet you at the Booklovers Convention next May where I’ll also be a visiting author!

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  4. I had the pleasure of meeting Tina at #RAGT18. She was absolutely lovely! Great blog!

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    1. Hi Heather. Thanks for your comment. So sweet! I love Alyssa's blog too...I subscribed to it. Hope to see you at RAGT19

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  5. I have met Tina a few times, always very gracious. Love her books! Can’t wait to see you in NOLA in May!

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    1. Hi Shari, It sounds as though you’ll also be looking forward to THE FATHERS OF VICTORIA GALLEN! Please come and say hi to me in NOLA next May as well!

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    2. Hi Shari...You are so sweet! Thanks for leaving a comment.

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    1. Hi Wendy...I appreciate you stopping by. I'm honored to e on Alyssa's blog. :)

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  7. Great blog. Always nice to hear about new to me Authors!

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    1. Hi Lisa, It’s lovely for me to receive feedback. I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog and discovering new authors!

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    2. HI Lisa! Thanks for stopping by Alyssa's blog and commenting. Tina

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    3. Hi Again Lisa! You have won the contest. Please email me your details or I’ll need to redraw! Alyssaj.montgomeryromance@gmail.com

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  8. Thanks for the chance. Awesome interview!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Thanks Darci, Hope you’ll revisit the blog and enjoy future interviews!

      Sorry - my last post did an autocorrect to Darcy with a y!! So I deleted it.

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    3. Greetings Darci... thanks for stopping by!
      Good Luck

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  9. Very interesting excellent bl og. I enjoy finding new authors.

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  10. Love that Tina sent me over here!

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    1. So do I! Welcome Jen! I hope you’ll be a regular visitor!

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    2. Hi Jen... Glad you came to visit Alyssa's blog. I really enjoy reading it...HUGS

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  11. Hi all your books sound awesome!! I would love to read!!

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    1. Wonderful stories from a wonderful lady! Thanks for visiting Chasity.

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    2. Thanks Chasity! I enjoy writing them so much and miss my characters when I write the end...I guess that is why I enjoy writing a series so much! td

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  12. Hdllo, your books sound great. You are a new author to me.

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    1. Hello Marina. I'm glad to meet you too. I hope you give my books a try...and of course, enjoy them!

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  13. Wow what an inspiration! I understand medical challenges. They can be scary. And it is so true that often we know better than our doctors. Thanks for sharing

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    1. I agree that we need to follow our instincts and often to be assertive with medical practitioners. We live in our bodies and so can often be more in tune with them.

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    2. Hi Suzannnah...thank you for your kind words.

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  14. hi TINA, love to see you at blogs <3

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  15. Alyssa, you've captured the essence of the Tina DeSalvo we know and love; thank you.

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    1. Oh, that’s so good to hear! Thanks Adrienne.

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    2. Hi Adrienne...thanks for you sweet words... hugs

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  16. I understand about medical challenges, I lost my husband to Kidney Cancer 2 years ago & he went thru alot with it. Thanks for your generosity.

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    1. Hi Linda, I’m sorry to hear about your husband. Cancer is a dreadful thing, and I’m sure almost everyone has been touched by it either directly or by having someone close to them go through the fight. Tina is definitely to be applauded for her fundraising efforts and the positive messages she passes on to all of us.
      Thanks for visiting.

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  17. This is so awesome thank you so much for your comments I love the blog

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    1. Great to hear from you Rita. Have a wonderful weekend!

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    2. Hi Rita...thanks forstopping by! Good Luck!

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  18. I remember you telling us a little about these things at RAGT!! It is awesome to read more

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    1. Glad you’ve enjoyed the interview Amy. Maybe we’ll see you at the Booklovers Convention in May?

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  19. Hi Amy! Yes, I shared some of my work stories during our True Lies game during RAGT in Cincinnati. I’ll be returning there in June, 2019 - and plan to share more stories...ahhh Some will definitely be true...but you’ll have to guess which ones during Gabe are not! Lol. I hope to see you again!

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  20. Wow, I love getting to know more about you Tina- you're a hoot! Thank you Alyssa for having her on... you two are a great combo!
    Cheers from Northwest Indiana~
    Kelly Braun

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  21. Hi Gaelicark- thanks for stopping by��

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